Friday, October 31, 2003

Serious

It seems like it has been forever since Tia and I have posted anything and it is for good reason. We have some major issues going on in our household right now and most things have taken a backburner. For reasons I cannot go into we cannot discuss them at this time.

Anyone that reads this knows that we have no problems being candid. We are frighteningly honest at times. But this situation is so serious that we really can't say anything.

But as with any situation, lessons are learned. Here are a few that I (Toya) am learning through this storm:

1) God is amazing and worthy to be praised This might strike a "Yeah, duh" from some and a "Yeah whatever from others" but this is truth. I have grown up with gospel music my entire life, Walter Hawkins, The Winans, Vanessa Bell Armstrong to name a few. I have sung gospel songs in choir, in the pews and on many family vacations. Even though I grew up with this type of music, I never really listened to the words. It was never REAL to me. Like I didn't even know who they were talking about. God has shown himself to be real and faithful during this difficult time so much so that I am hearing these songs I grew up with like I have never heard them before. Great Is Thy Faithfulness is one of the oldest hymns ever but its meaning is so fresh and new to me now. I can't explain it. Well, maybe I can best explain it this way: you know when you are in love or you have a crush and every love song you hear reminds you of that person and you get all happy inside? That is how I am about the Lord right now. Every song I hear that speaks of His goodness puts such a smile on my face. Nothing brings me more joy now than to sing of how good my heavenly Father is. I don't really know how being in love is like but I will takek this over that any day. God promises to never leave us or forsake us. I could sing about that forever.

2)People lie. There is SO much more that I want to say about this and I can't. Oh but I will and I can't wait.

3) It's okay to cry, in fact it is necessary for your health. Yes, it is good to be strong for the ones you love when they are hurting but you have to allow yourself to hurt too and you can't condemn yourself for it. I had to break down and cry at work and eventually had to go home. I've lost weight (not a bad thing per se), have had nerve problems, lack of sleep and nausea all week. Not because I don't trust that God is working this situation out because He promised in His word that He would. This is all because I was trying to be Tough Girl and not cry. Be honest with yourself and the people who love you. When I finally cried my nausea stopped and I got my appetite back.

4) Be there for your loved ones but don't smother them. I am so touchy feely. I want to hug everyone all the time so much that I feel I am going to pop. There is a guy at work that is not feeling well and I just want to hug him so bad but it really is not appropriate. Some people aren't huggers. People have different love languages. Mine is physical touch. Some people's love language is quality time. Some times it is good to just sit with a loved one that is going through a rough time and not say anything. Everyone is different. If you don't know how to help, ask.

5) You don't have to be blood related to be family. Around here, if it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us. We rejoice together, we cry together. We are down for each other no matter what. I have said before that I have to fight selfishness every day because I can be pretty selfish sometimes but there is no time for that now. We have to learn to serve one another.

And lastly, I have learned to trust in God. In the bible it says that He upholds His promises because "He can swear no higher than Himself". That has been so encouraging to me. God is not going to disgrace His name by not being faithful. I am so excited to see how He works this whole thing out. So please, if you pray, pray for us. We need it. The storm is passing over but we are hanging in there.


Monday, October 20, 2003

Random Posting by Toya

I haven't posted in a while. I am so tired that I have a headache. I am getting so old. I used to work 3 jobs with 4 hours of sleep and was never this tired. I want to go to bed at 9:30 PM (what the heck??!!) and maybe I dreamt this but I thought Tia was babysitting two small children this weekend who are now lost somewhere in my big pile of laundry that has been piling up for a month. I'll be sure to slide slices of cheese underneath to be sure they don't starve to death before I start folding tonight. It's Monday for goodness sake.

Anyway, I just wanted to leave you all with this:

Bring it on in to Omeletteviiiiilllllllaaaa !


www.breny.com

Aww, good times.
Ghettopoly

We all thought this was a joke but as we all now know that ignorance has reached its all time high. I don't know what frustrates us more: the fact that this was sold or the fact that it was created. BGLU correspondent Nicole has some interesting views on how this all originated.

When last I heard about the controversial game being sold by Urban Outftters, the CEOs of the company were declining to commment and/or speak to people wth greivances about the game. In my opinion, that's probably not the best way to handle it; indifference never is.

Neither is fighting fire with fire. I know among some of my friends there was talk of creating a similar game to it called Chinopoly, and as tempting and EASY as that is, that's not going to help anything. This is the same premise that Ghettopoly was made under- Helping. According to the inventor it was supposed to help others see the sterotypes that we in this country hold and perpetuate. Why we don't see him using his own ethnicity to explain this is beyond me.

Sisters,the Ghettopoly thing has stirred but not shaken me and here's why. This is only a distraction. I imagine it going something like this:

Menion#1: Hey Lu, it looks like this whole "racial thing" is cooling off. What can we do to uh, stoke the fires? Heh, heh, heh...


Lucifer: Hmm, let me think... well there's already a godless game called Monopoly, why don't we twist that one up even further.

Menion#2: You may be on to something 'Bub. But you know what'll really add salt to the wound? Why don't we get two minorities into it. That ought to keep 'em busy.

Menion #3: I know just the guy. He's Chinese, thoughtless bloak... I'll make him think he's helping the situation. This guy'll run with his A** all out claiming that he wants to make a point about racial stereotypes, but instead of using his own people, we'll put him on to the Blacks. Then they can blame it all on the White people for perpetuating the stereotypes..."

Lucifer: Dude, that's brilliant! This is great, not only do we get to jack up relations between a few American people, we also get to screw over Urban Outfitters. Sure they agreed to carry the game, but there's nothing like putting a dent in sales of any clothing store. Look at Abercrombie."

Menion #3: I'll start on it right away. They'll never see it comin'.

Lucifer: Good, now let me see what I can get into now...


And hey, it could've been worse. It could've been The Gap selling the game...

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Please welcome the newest member to my Brit Boy Hall of Fame

Jason Statham


As Pac said, "Maybe it's the thug in me." I like Jason the best when he has a gun in his hand.


Jason first popped up on the radar in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, a personal favorite and not just because it's a British flick. The more I saw him the more I realized something was amiss. Who was this cocky English gent with ridiculously cut arms? Then I saw The Italian Job and it was pretty much all over. My man plays Handsome Rob in the movie. Enough said.

I would like you all to join us in welcoming Jason to the ranks.
(Even the kids are excited)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

As I have already mentioned I spend a lot of time traveling. As such, I have a lot of time to think. So there may be a lot of random postings in the next few months. I am ever so grateful for this laptop.

Okay first up…

Top ten shows I REALLY miss.

10. Danger Mouse
This show used to come on Nickelodeon. It was about a British mouse (are you surprised?) that solved crimes with his sidekick Penfold. I think Penfold was a ground hog but they never really said and I was only six so I didn’t really care. I used to watch this show every Saturday with my dad while we ate silver dollar pancakes. I stumbled across copies of the show on sale on www.blackstar.co.uk. Of course, they are only available in the UK. I’m beginning to think that all things pop-culture eventually end up in UK

9. Parker Lewis Can’t Lose
Do not even front and act like you didn’t love that show. Parker Lewis was the prototype for the modern day Shea boy. He was cool, slick and you either wanted to be him or be with him. I couldn’t believe it when they took that show off of the air. Some people sincerely lack vision.

8. I can’t remember the name of my number 8. But it was about a girl who was half alien and she could freeze time. Her name was Edie and she stopped time when she put her index fingers together. I am not ashamed to say that I tried it…more than once. 5000 points to the person who can e-mail me the name of the show.

7. The USA Cartoon Express
Remember when you could get up in the morning and watch cartoons until noon? You didn’t have to worry about lame shows and your parents knew that you were well taken care of until midday. The Cartoon Express was so very serious. It came on at 6 a.m. and commenced entertaining you with a who’s who of cartoon stars? I LOVED the segments that were cartoon versions of Battle of the Network Stars. You had 3 different groups of Hanna-Barbera stars battling it out for the Saturday bragging rights. I am convinced that that show was a work of pure genius.

6. Picture Pages
Okay, so picture pages wasn’t a SHOW but you can’t say that you didn’t love it. Go ahead…you can sing the theme song. I’ll wait. This is the only time in my life that I can remember being excited about commercials. I was so PISSED when I found out the pen didn’t really make that noise. Bill Cosby went on the “bad man” list for a long time after that.

5.Fraggle Rock
I am down right giddy just thinking about the show. “It’s the Trash Heap! MAAAYYYAAAA!!!!” The show was a little weird and twisted but you know you loved it just like I did. To this day I still don’t know what a Fraggle is. There has to be a petition somewhere that will get this show back on the air or at the very least on DVD.

4. Esteban’s Cities of Gold
I think the show was a Brazilian import, possibly Mexican. It was one of the shows that has something of a kiddie cult following You’ve either never heard of it or you were up at the crack BEFORE the Cartoon Express to watch it EVERY SINGLE Saturday. I remember being at my grandmother’s house and getting up while it was still dark so I could watch COG. I would sing the theme song loudly and off key. I honestly don’t know if they ever actually found the COG.

3. The Electric Company/Mr. Wizard/3-2-1 Contact
I put all of these shows in the same category because they’re basically the same. Learning shows were okay to watch back in the day. I was the BIGGEST nerd when I was in school. Shows like these let me know that it was okay to be smart. In fact, you could be smart and be on television. And I just knew that when I was old enough I was going to be a part of the Bloodhound Gang. And I was going to run that piece. As far as Mr. Wizard went, I never had the stuff to do the experiments. Apparently, there was some sort of income requirement to take part in the scientific fun. I probably could have gotten some sort of kiddie stipend/scholarship but I didn’t know where to send my FAFSA information.

2.You Can’t Do That On Television
The only thing I knew about Canada is that it produced slime. If you don’t think this was one of the best shows, EVER, then there is just no helping you. And if you didn’t feel Alastair, I might have to pull your BGLU card.

This was one of the most crude, ridiculous shows on television. That may explain why the show was on for so long. Kids love anything gross. Remember Barth, the chef at the local restaurant? You would think that if someone name Barth owns the place it’s probably not passing any sort of sanitation inspections. But nonetheless, every week someone would eat there and their dining experience always culminated in regurgitation.

The show started off in syndication in Canada and made its way across the border to become a massive hit. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t seen at least one episode. Last week while searching for episodes on Ebay, I realized that the show is still emmensly popular. The DVD was going for upwards of $100. And I can’t say that I didn’t think about throwing my hat into the ring. There are no legitimate copies to be found and we’re all familiar with the law of supply and demand. It makes me kind of wonder why the person who owns the rights to the show doesn’t put each season on DVD. I would buy every single one. And I have a feeling that I’m not alone.

1. The Mickey Mouse Club
Oh, the humanity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY, WHY, WHY was this show taken off of the air? Who is responsible? This was without a doubt my favorite show of all time. It had everything I needed: singing, Damon, dancing, Damon, funny skits, Damon and it had DAMON. I LOVED that boy. (When he did that remake of that Rob Base song, “Damon won’t you turn it out/Gotta make the people scream and shout” I thought I was going to pass out.) I would run home everyday from Miller Grove Junior High School (shout-outs to the Raiders) to watch. I would call my friend Rebecca and we would scream together for an hour or so. I wanted to be a Mouseketeer so badly. They held auditions at one of the malls in Atlanta and I was all about trying out. I predictably chickened out upon arriving but at least I went down there. And think about all of the Gen-X stars the show produced. Kerri Russell, JC (who I’ve now had a crush on for 14 years. Somebody help me), Justin Timberlake, Tony Lucca (I heard he’s going on tour with JC. I will be in the front row, throwin’ ‘bows if I have to), Matt Morris, that country kid from Remember the Titans, Britney, X-tina and I’m sure there’s many more I just can’t think of at the moment.

We have the MMC to thank for giving us The Party. Yes, I own a Party cd. And I play I Found Love to death. How could you not love them? Chase (did he EVER get around to choosing a hair style? He was having issues for a while there.) Damon and Albert in one group?!?!?!?!?!?!? Love is in the air, every where I look around.

I have this theory. Actually it’s more of a deeply held belief. I think that pop music would not be as suggestive as it is if the MMC was still on the air. I say this because every day on the show, the Mouseketeers would do their rendition of a song that was on the charts. We would watch the show, see our favorite MMC-er singing the song and then bug our parents to death until we had the cassette single. I truly believe that record execs knew this and were systematically releasing kid friendly songs that would subsequently end up on the MMC for all of pre-pubescent world to hear. We hear it, we like it, we spend our lawn mowing/babysitting money to buy it. Once the show was off of the air, there was no reason to keep the quality standards high. Think about it. There is no way that 90% of the songs on the air would ever make it on to the MMC. I’m thinking of writing a dissertation on this. The people need to know. And a link to an online petition to either bring the show back or put it on DVD will be circulating shortly.


Oh yeah, some honorable mentions
Today’s Special
The Great Grape Ape
Dynomutt and The Blue Falcon
Jabberjaw
Munchichis (Munchichi means happiness)
The Hair Bear Bunch

I would love to hear about some of your favorites. Hit us up.
Token
By Tia


I am…different. I’m eclectic. I’m not the norm (what ever that is.) I thoroughly enjoy
destroying stereotypes. It makes me smile. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember and I wouldn’t change a thing. However, the issue at hand is not my idiosyncrasies. As one who enjoys being different and appreciates the differences in others, I often find myself the only person of color in random circles. I must take this opportunity to say that I don’t always care for that situation. Now mind you I’m not intimidated by it. But inevitably, as the only minority a group, by default I become the spokesperson of an entire race of people. Call me selfish, but I don’t need that kind of pressure. I don’t want to speak for people that I don’t know, and I’m positive that there are people out there that don’t want me speaking for them. As much as I respect Jesse, Colin, Condoleezza and the like, we differ greatly in our opinions and I don’t want to casual observer to think that all black people have all of the same world views.

As much as I try to avoid the being the “token” it sometimes happens from time to time. This weekend I found myself surrounded by some people I consider close friends and some people that I don’t. The following question was posed, “Tia, how do you feel about white parents adopting black children?” Never one to run from a discussion (I figure if you ask me, you want to know what I have to say. Don’t get mad when I say something that you don’t like) I jumped right in with my opinion. By the time, the discussion was over, I didn’t like one person, and wanted to slap the fire out of another. I was utterly floored by the pure unadulterated ignorance of the group as a whole. And to be perfectly honest I guess I was a little shocked that in the 21st century that kind of ignorance and insensitivity could still exists. As someone who grew up in mixed neighborhoods, dated black, white and other, and still have close friends who “don’t look like me,” I guess I just assumed that everyone was a open-minded as I am. I figured no educated person could be that ignorant. Shame on me and my naivety.

We pride ourselves in being the technical generation. We give each other the proverbial pat on the back because “we have come so far.” But if we’re honest some where along the way our forward motion affected our memory. We “forget” that slavery was not so long ago. We “forget” that Matthew Shepard was killed because he was gay. We “forget” that a black man was chained to a truck and dragged down a dirt road. We “forget” that there are places that I still can’t go because I have a little more melanin than the next man. Yes, it can be argued that these examples are few and far between but we must state the obvious: These things do still happen. My question is why? Aside from the inherently evil argument…I’ve got nothing.

I live in a bubble of sorts. I reside in the dirty, dirty. Cashvegas, baby. I abide 3 hours from where “Bangin’ in Little Rock” was filmed. But despite that, I still remain relatively unscathed by the repugnant things of society. I have two black roommates. One of whom is just as quirky as myself. I work for a company that I would have to guess is a lot more diverse than most. On my study team alone there are 6 blacks, one Hispanic, one Philippino and one other. (I think he might be Middle Eastern but I’m not positive and don’t want to assume.) That kind of diversity in corporate America is rare. And I go to one of the most racially mixed churches in the free world. This is our church logo for crying out loud. I go about most days with the mindset that we all DO get along. So when ignorance rears it’s ugly head, the jolt occasionally rocks my paradigm immensely. And after the tremors have subsided I usually feel like I feel now, sad. Of course, I’m furious that Ghettopoly is flying off the shelves at a frightening pace. I’m pissed that derogatory comments were made against my race and the same person who made the comments is thinking of adopting someone that they so ignorantly and insensitively belittle. I’m angry that affirmative action is STILL necessary. But once the anger has subsided and I’ve had time to think, the heaviness that penetrates my soul is dang near palpable. I’m sad that people have died so that I can sit in the front of this airplane and type this tyrant and yet I still catch random looks and glances from the “majority.” I’m sad that I may very well have to explain the difference between nigga and nigger to my child. My heart hurts for the most for the people that don’t know any better. It’s an awful thing to be lost, but it’s even worse to be lost and not even know it.

We’re inundated with political correctness but to what avail? Instead of teaching tolerance, we’ve learned indifference. We have the, “as long as it’s not happening me/mine” attitude. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no standing still. You’re either moving forward or you’re not. It’s like being on one of those moving sidewalks in the airport. Just because you’re not walking doesn’t mean that you’re not moving. You will eventually get to the end of the sidewalk unless you get off and turn around and walk the other way. So I’m starting with the (wo)man in the mirror. I refuse to let the ignorant comments of anyone of any race, stature, or walk of life get me down. I will be the strong independent woman that God has created me to be. I will continue to embrace others not like me. I will raise strong children of different races (in case you didn’t know I want a family that looks like a Benetton ad.) But I will NOT shrink back. I will stand for what I know is just, correct and fair. It’s the only way that I can in good conscious say that I tried. My pastor, Rice Broocks always says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, October 13, 2003

Album I Slept On (purposely) and Now Can't Front On No Matter How Much It Hurts: Jon B's "Pleasures You Like".

I am notorious for sleeping on CD's. Sometimes I hold onto old stuff so much that I don't want to embrace anything new. In fact, embarrassingly enough, I am listening to the first India Arie CD for the first time because I just bought it and her follow up this week. I have been buying so much old stuff like Alexander O'Neal's and Brand New Heavies greatest hits that I rarely buy new stuff. Shameful, I know. I am listening to both of her CD's and I don't understand how I have lasted this long without them. They will live in my CD player.

You don't even know how mad I am about this because I flat out said I wasn't buying anymore Jon B CD's. I have had a love/hate relationship with Jon B for quite some time but sometimes you have to look past the artist to appreciate the art. If you have read this blog long enough, you know that we are whole-hearted supporters of blue-eyed soul (we know we keep promising those pics of us with Kenny Loggins. They're coming soon. I don't know how to work the scanner yet.) However, Jon B has been on my ish list for the past few years because of one of the worst concert experiences of my life.

It hasn't always been hateration when it comes to Jon B. When I first heard "Someone to Love" I was not feeling him at all because he sounded just like Babyface. Couldn't stand him. Then I was over a friend's house who is a producer and a much bigger music snob than I (yes, it's possible). When I saw that he had it I was like, hold up. He said "You don't know about this? I am so sorry." He went onto play tracks 6 thru the end and I was sold, especially on the last track "Love Don't Do". Til this day "Bonafide" is one of my top 10 favorite albums of my lifetime. I mean like in the top 10 like Off the Wall is in the top 10. It's that serious.

So when did the boycotting happen? After wanting to see Jon B in concert for years, I finally got to see him at a club in Philly. He was doing shows promoting "Cool Relax" (which is nothing like Bonafide. It's not bad but it's completely different. Bonafide is more grown and sexy.) We waited forever for this cat and about 2 hours later he came out with his band and ladies and gentlemen this man showed his behind. I mean, he could not have shown his behind more if he had pictures of it and was passing it around the club. He acted a straight up fool. First of all, out of the first 5 songs he did, only 2 of them were his. He did "Outstanding" "Yearning for Yor Love" and some other R&B favorites and I was like "Sing your own stuff!" It was almost like he was singing all of these songs to win us over. We were as close as 5 feet from the stage and the more this went on the more I took out my keys, waved them in front of him and said "I swear I will go home right now if you don't start singing your own songs." To make it worse he had this huge chip on his shoulder and kept making comments suggesting that the crowd was hating on him because he was white. Umm, did he think we didn't know that when we bought our tickets? We paid $25, which I STILL want back. We knew he was white. But no, he could not let it go. Then he went into "Are U Still Down" and wanted all of us to put peace signs in the air in rememberance of Pac. Now you know some folk don't care nothing about crowd participation, especially already being tired from waiting almost 2 hours for him to perform. Jon B is holding up playing the song like "Oh you too cool to put your signs in the air, you a straight up @#!&* punk. Word up". After this hissy fit, the show ended with "Don't Say" and he said his goodbyes and gave the right side of the stage the middle finger. I was through.

I have been listening to my Launch station (damilove4) and I have Jon B as one of my artist in rotation. Ever so often I would hear a song and would turn and look at my computer like "What in the?" and sure enough, it would be from Pleasures You Like. After almost a year, I have broken down and bought it. So ashamed. "Lonely Girl" is my joint though, I can't lie.

Pleasures You Like is where Bonafide and Cool Relax come together. Like Cool Relax, it has a little bit more hip hop influence than Bonafide and like Bonafide, is more mature musically and lyrically than Cool Relax. Point blank it has some smooth jams on it. I can front no longer.

He only has about 2 inches on me so don't let me see that lil' man in the street. I still want my $25 back.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Tia's Random Thoughts for the Week

Okay, I (Tia) have been traveling like CRAZY for my job. Last week, I was in Indianapolis. This week I'm in Florida (don't feel bad for me, I just got back from the pool.) Next week, I'll be in Cleveland, Pennsylvania, and back in Indianapolis. The week after that I'll be in Ohio, West Virginia (oh joy) and in Louisville, KY. I'm going to London in the spring. At this rate I'll be able to fly for free. Needless to say, I haven't had a whole lot of time to write. I'm currently working on a review for John Mayer's Heavier Things. But I figured while I did that I would offer you these random thoughts.

Hmmmm????
Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that R. Kelly is calling himself the "Pied Piper" of R&B? Does anyone remember the original story of The Pied Piper? Contrary to the Looney Tunes version, the piper did not just lead the mice away. In the end he led the town's CHILDREN away. NOW are you disturbed?

WHY?!?!
Can anyone tell me why no matter where I'm flying I have to lay over in Atlanta if I'm flying Delta and in St Louis if I'm flying American. I understand that certain airlines have hubs in certain cities, but give me a break. I was trying to fly from Nashvegas to Cincinnati, a journey that's a 4-hour drive. The flight was just as long, with a layover in the STL. Last week on a flight from Indianapolis to the 'Ville, I had a layover in Atlanta. So let me get this straight, I have to fly 4 hours SOUTH of Nashville to get there? That's why tickets are so high. They have to pay for all of the fuel they waste. But in light of their ridiculous flight plans I must offer kudos to American. Right now you can buy a ROUND TRIP ticket from New York to LONDON for $99. I'm thinking about just buying a ticket and going for the weekend. For $99, why not? God save the queen!!!!


HEY YA!!!



Toya and I LOVE Andre 3000. Don't you? If you said no, then you haven't seen the video for "Hey Ya." Go watch the video and then come back with the correct answer: an emphatic YES!!!


A Little Secret.....
I feel rather close to you, our reading audience, so I offer you an abridged version of some of my current guilty pleasure
- Newlyweds on MTV - There are times when I just want to slap Jessica Simpson. She can't be that stupid. It's not possible. However, in spite of her stupidity I find myself tuning in. Somehow I manage to catch an episode every week.
-Seventeen by the Beu Sisters - The song came out last summer. It is terribly written, produced and sung. I LOVE IT! I have played the song every day for the last week. If you need a hearty laugh, do a search for the Beu Sisters and hit up their website (if it's still up and running.) You will either laugh yourself sick when you watch the video because they were dead serious when they made it or you will laugh yourself silly because you will hear Seventeen and realize that I am probably the biggest weenie you're NEVER met.
-Candie Kisses Lipgloss - As far as I know you can only buy this stuff at Sally's Beauty Supply. It tastes like candy. It is dangerous and should not be used in closed spaces with boys. I absolutely LOVE it. I can not get enough of it. People probably think I"m some sort of pervert (or related to LL) because I spend so much time licking my lips. There are rumours that the gloss comes in flavours other than the 3 Sally's carries. In the immortal words of Mystikal, "DANGER!"

And Finally....
I work in "corporate America." I do clinical research for a Contract Research Organization or CRO. The are quite a few women in my field. I've met all kinds of people from all kinds of walks of life. Recently, I've noticed that A LOT of women are not taking their husbands last name. Now maybe I'm old fashion but what's up with that? If I were a guy and my wife didn't want to take my last name I'd feel, for lack of a better word, played. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but in my mind that's part of the whole leave and cleave thing. I'm leaving behind the family covering of my youth to join with another human being to become one. I don't know. Feedback is (almost) always welcome. Give me your thoughts on this.

Okay, I'm going to get my butt kick at video games. I'm in Tampa with my friend Brian and every time I visit he feels the need to destroy me at video games. What are friends for?

Friday, October 10, 2003

Open Discussion for All BGLU's


"Who dis woman?"- Squeak from The Color Purple

BGLU's, 2 questions:
1) Who is this woman with Brad Pitt?
2) Why do we care?


and why do we care SO much? Why is it that I couldn't even SEE Adrian Brody until one night I was up watching Lifetime and his movie "The Restaurant" (BGLU classic)came on and he was kicking it with Elise Neal after he and Lauryn Hill's character broke up. Was not checkin' for him at all!

Why do we love Robert Deniro, honestly? Because he loves us. Let's be real. I was watching The Daily Show a few years back and they referred to The Million Woman March as Robert Deniro's wet dream. Even mainstream media knows that Bob is for the sistas.

I am asking this question because of a question a brotha posted on a message board I recently read. The comments section was for Heather Headley's recent marriage to a white football player. To my surprise most of the comments were positive. However I was not surprised at the number of black women who responded like "You go Heather. You go find true love. Good for her. Got herself a white boy." I have been in public with white men who were nothing more than friends and have heard comments from sistas congratulating me because they thoguht we were together. I even had a friend who would clap LOUDLY as interracial couples (only black women/white men) walked by. So this one cat on the message board respectfully asked why was it when a black woman hooks up with a white man, it is all about some "You go girl" but when black men date white women, some black women want to excommunicate him from the black community ala Queen Latifah in Jungle Fever?

Is it because recently, the images that we see in the media do not represent true love between a black man and a black woman? Especially between single couples. We have Friends and numerous other shows showing white single people in loving relationships but besides Living Single, Martin and Different World (only seen in syndication now) what do we have that represents true love between two black people? As of late, a lot of what we see are images of black women being used to serve black men and to beckon to every sex crazed command: "Back that up" "Drop that shawty" "Twork it" "Take it from the window to the wall and then put 'em on the glass." I think that some of us feel betrayed in a sense so when we see Justin Timberlake in a video singing to a black woman who is fully clothed, he's the new hero. Do we feel like "well hell, SOMEBODY'S gotta love us!"

Truth be told, I used to be very skeptical of black men who dated white women because of what I had heard from black men about why they wouldn't date black women. I wouldn't question their love and respect for me but their love and respect for the white women they were with. There is a misconception that white women are more docile and subserviant to black men. This is a big misconception because I know plenty of white girls that will cut you in a heartbeat (Tina, Megan, Jen-both of them. Yeah, I named names) and not just white women but Asian women. I had a friend who tried to hook up with an Asian friend of mine solely because he thought she would be at his feet anytime and she quickly let him know that she was not the one. My opinion that black men that were with white women didn't really love them changed when I read an article on Taye Diggs. They asked him what rumors would he like to clear up about himself and he quickly said the rumor that he doesn't like black women. Peole assume that because he married a white woman that he has no love for his sistas. That is wrong. We need to stop doing that to our men. We need to stop thinking that black men that date white women are weak and white men that date black women are heroes because a lot of them are shady too. Oh yes, I have had some conversations with some white men about why they date sistas. Some of them said because of the power of the booty, our lips, and other sexual things I won't go into. When I was younger I thought that white boys were more romantic and sweeter. That was until I ran into a few that will knock you upside your head or lie to you about their drug habits.

As of late, Tia and I have noticed and have been very proud of the growing number of black families in our community. Truthfully, I don't know if it is a number that is growing or we are just looking for them. We long to see black love. It's the sweetest thing. The other day we were watching House Party. Kid and Tisha Campbell were kissing and in stereo we both sighed "Aah, black love." We really need to see more of that. We need more Dwayne Wayne's (my favorite TV character of all time) and Whitley's, Sinclairs and Overtons, Martins and Ginas. For those of us that don't live in predominantly black neighborhoods, it is easy for us to forget that a great number of our brothers love us.

So I aint mad at the sista in the picture with Brad Pitt or Thandie Newton, Robin Givens and who knows what other sista Brad was kickin' it with before he settled down with Jennifer Aniston. And I am not going to lie: if I see Bruce Willis with a sister, my blood pressure will probably go up a notch or 3. However, I am not going to throw shade on Cuba Gooding Jr. or Taye Diggs for marrying white women. Because just like I am happy for Heather Headley, I am happy for them. I want my brothers and sisters to experience good love and healthy relationships and those come in all shades and colors.
BGLU News

Hey this is Toya, holding it down while Tia is away. JUSTICE!!! KEEN EDDIE IS BACK ON!!!! Well sorta. It looks like the remaining 6 episodes will air on Bravo and Bravo will be showing reruns of the sorely missed best new show of last season. Also, the episodes will be on DVD soon! Now I wrote Fox twice and in a very curt manner they let me know that yes, the show is canncelled, no, there will not be more episodes and all the actors have moved onto new projects, thanks for my concern and I can now go about my merry way. Okay they didn't say that exactly but they may as well have. For all of you Boomtown fans (or just Donnie Wahlberg fans like us) Boomtown will also be on Bravo and the first season is coming out on DVD soon. Man, what other shows can we get on DVD? I vote for "Different World" (My favorite show of all time), "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" and "MMC" pre and post The Party. We need to get a petition going. Give the people what they want.

Speaking of MMC, in yesterday's article in The Jackson Sun on Matt Morris, they mentoned that Matt is now on the road with Justin Timberlake writing for Justin's second solo album. Umm, do they need a cook, masseuse, back up singer or something? How can we be down? Man, I am telling you I need to pick up an instrument or something. I should've never given up the recorder in the 4th grade.

Look for new albums from two of our favorite artists of all time, Alexander O'Neal and Tears for Fears. Alexander will be releasing "Saga of a Married Man" and Tears for Fears were just recently signed to Arista. With Duran Duran going back out on tour could we be in the early stages of an 80's comeback revolution? Could someone please call Loose Ends, Five Star and Howard Jones and fill them in on what is brewing?

Lastly (AKA I need to get back to work), I just recently heard some cuts from JC's new album. 2 words: He crazy. I mean crazy, buckety buck buck wild, straight looney. I'd be lying if I said I won't have it the day it comes out, though.

Thursday, October 9, 2003

Unbeknownst to us, our website was on the cover of the Jackson Sun as a link to our review of BGLU fave Matt Morris. WOW. The review is actually in our archives but we will put it on our current page because it seems as if a good amount of people are looking for it.




YOU ARE NOT READY.

Don't Sleep on This Album- Matt Morris "Unspoken".

I am not a crier at all. I wish I could cry, Lord knows I do. The only time I cry is during Praise and Worship time in church but besides that, I am rarely moved. I am listening to this CD, sitting at my desk at work while biting my trembling upper lip to keep from sobbing all over my keyboard. No, I am not premenstrual.

I would like to say that Matt Morris made this CD especially for me. He heard that I was fed up with music, that I had gone back to my old faithfuls, Stevie Wonder and Sting, for the musical inspiration which our current music industry is for the most part void of. I would like to believe that Matt Morris said "You know what? I like that girl Toya. She's a sweetie. And since anyone could give her roses and diamonds, I will impress her with something timeless" and thus produced, wrote, and arranged this CD. A girl could only wish.

Unlike his fellow MMC alumni, this CD has nary a trace of "'Dirrty' 'Pop' ". "Unspoken"is an autobiography, much like Maxwell's classic "Urban Hang Suite"and is split into a musical trilogy. Every song is bound together by a common thread of lush and sometimes haunting, piano driven melodies and topics of spirituality ("Eternity") social issues ("The World I'm Living In") and of course, love proclaimed, love lost and love made ("Be My Love" "You Were Mine" and "Let Me"). It's hard to say where this album's strength lies. One could say that it is in his songwriting that is at times, personal enough where it could make you blush while thinking you have been let in on something that really is none of your business. Or you could say it is his voice that is delectable like a semi-sweet chocolate brownie in which you take little bites and digest only a bit at a time, savoring every little morsel-like word. Morris' voice is tinged with soulful inflections while so sweet that even when he is telling his love to walk away (such as in "Go Away" co-written with BGLU favorite, Justin Timberlake) the beckoning in his voice let's you know that is merely a bluff. And if his voice is the brownie, surely the music itself is the milk that chases it down slowly leaving you fully satisfied. Be sure to go to his website www.mattmorris.net (where you can hear the ENTIRE CD as well as read the lyrics) and buy the CD on his website, or pick it up at Tower Records or www.amazon.com.

BGLU News

You know, I have had about enough of television and with this being the last season of Friends, I may not feel so compelled to watch TV anymore. Wait, we get free cable. Just playin'.

. Ain't he fine?

Along with Keen Eddie, the powers that be have decided to take Boomtown and The Orlando Jones show off the air. We LOVED the Orlando Jones Show! We must admit, we could have done without that tired animated short that seemed to be the product of too many hits followed by trips to the Kwiki Mart, but where else could you find a show that would bring you artists like Les Nubians, Donnie, Hanson, Thicke and Terrence Trent D'Arby!? My man brought Terrence back. He should at least be granted 2 extra seasons for that alone. But nooooo. Slam the Man.

Your boy Justin Timberlake will be the host and musical guest this week on Saturday Night Live. Think they'll be any jabs at Britney? I mean, he has a whole hour and a half. Our take: let it go lil' homie. By now most of you have heard "Never Again" off of Justified and have seen the "ode to that trick who did me wrong" video "Cry Me a River". If closure hasn't happened by now, it's long overdue. So please, Mr. JT, don't sink so low. In further SNL news, Halle Berry will be hosting SNL for the first time with Britney Spears as musical guest (Lord, please don't let them kiss. Fred Durst would be in hog heaven.) By the by, John Mayer was the musical guest last week and we forgot to mention it. AND he sang "Clarity". I haven't been right since.

Beyonce' is coming out with a clothing line. Now look: we are no haters here. Let me rephrase: Okay, we are some haters here. BUT we are not Beyonce' haters. We love Beyonce' but her coming out with a clothing line makes as much sense as MTV having a Video Awards show. When was the last time you saw a FULL video (aside from on Making the Video) on MTV? Now, when was the last time you saw a FULL outfit on Beyonce'? We rest our case.

By now, we all know that Arnold Schwarzenegger is now the Governator. But did you know that Gary Coleman came in 8th? Say what you will, man, Gary knows issues. He had some strong arguments. Whatchu talkin' about Toya ??? I ain't lyin' !!! Did you hear his "We hafta get rid of NAFTA" spiel on Comedy Central? It was so serious. I would've voted for him too. Oh and best believe there is a special place in hell for yall who were calling my man "Arnold Short-a-Negro". Ya dead wrong, wrong I say. You know who yall are too.

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

It's Been A Long Time, We Shouldn't Have Left You...

Hey it's Toya. Tia is away this week and it's been sorta busy at the house. My younger brother came down this weekend for his birthday and it went pretty swell. It was a bit touch and go come Sunday however.

My brother, dad and uncle are the kind of people that can sometimes play TOO much. Actually, I can put myself in that category too. We sometimes take it too far. Knowing this, I warned my roommates in advance. My brother has calmed down considerably with age so there wasn't too much embarrassment but towards the end of his stay some mama jokes went flying and once again, my side of the family went too far. Grant it, I laughed so hard I nearly choked to death, but later I apologized to Tia who was on the receiving end.

Not too long ago while I was back home in New Jersey, I made a short film of my family so Tia can see why I am as crazy as I am . While my family is hilarious, I am noticing that it is often at someoneelse'ss expense. To put it plainly, we got JOKES.
I have often been complimented on having quick wit but that is just a nice way of saying I am somewhat of a smart ass. Sarcasm is often used as a defense mechanism. I know that this has been cultivated over time due to being in a house where people are quick to make you the butt of a joke. For me, my nickname has always been "factless wonder". Meaning sometimes I am not too quick to pick up on the obvious. So I would hear "Duh, Toy" a lot. A WHOLE lot. A quick rolling of the eyes and a wise cracking comment would follow by either my dad or my brother, making me feel like Fred Flintstone when he gets smaller and smaller and smaller. So I figured that either I continue to let people make me feel like an idiot or I fight back with some good comebacks of my own. While my bitingly honest commentary is often entertaining to those around me, I am starting to feel like this has made me a negative person. I have been around people who constantly have nothing good to say about anyone and it makes my skin crawl. I hate it. I had a friend where we couldn't watch television without her critiquing everyone on TV: "Look at her makeup. Oh she has picked up weight. She is so off key. Why is she sweatin' like that?" DROVE ME UP A WALL. To think that I have turned into one of those people with nothing nice to say, someone with little compassion, makes me rather disappointed in myself. I am just going to have to learn to not only hold my tongue but take my thoughts captive. The bible says out the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks so I am asking God to change my heart.

The thing is, sometimes people think because something is true, it'ss okay to say it. This is not always the case because as we all know, the truth hurts. If your intent is to hurt people and to tear people down, you should ask yourself why. Is it to make you feel better? Do you just genuinely hate people? Is there some sort of bitterness that you are dealing with? For me, maybe it is easier to rag on someone else instead of being the butt of a joke all of the time. Still, that shows insecurity and I don'tt want to be that way. This is not to say that the jokes will end and that I won't be giving my opinion on issues, I just don't want to be constantly negative. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. For instance, I was really critical of Jennifer Lopez for a good while. Well let me back that up, J-Lo. Jennifer Lopez I love, J-Lo gets on my nerves. See, there I go again. Any way I had jokes about her never seeming to be able to just be alone, jumping from one man to another. Then one day, I saw her diary on MTV and she was saying how it is hard for her to be alone because she has to deal with the voices in her head that are telling her things she doesn't want to hear and that they are usually right. That broke my heart. No one knows what she is going through right now and no one would want to go through it. She's a human being. Could you imagine turning on the TV and seeing an unauthorized hour long show about your failed relationships, weight gain and imperfections?

"and after this commercial break, we will talk about Toya's yo yo dieting, battles with her self esteem and her co-dependent hazardous relationship with a heroin addict."

Oh and then they want to bring on people that are your "close friends" to talk about you? People that you have probably not spoken to since high school?

"We always knew she was trying to be white. Hangin' out with all them skater punk kids. All them New Kids on the Block posters on her wall."

Nuts. I even want to have more compassion for 50 Cent, Ja Rule and the likes because honestly who has shown them right from wrong? Should we be mad at them or the machine behind them? Anyway, I am getting off track. That is a whole nother blog. My point is I want to love people more and not be so critical and I want the same respect. I'm gonna make a change for once in my life. It's gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right. As I turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat...(if you didn't get that, I am not gonna explain it to ya).